Sweet Charity given boost by Barrie club
Noah Stock, 10, and his English Cocker spaniel Riley, with Lise Valiquette, centre, of the May Court Club of Barrie, were on hand Monday for a donation of $5,000 to Lori Johnson (and dog Josie) of Sweet Charity to support its diabetes alert dog program. CHERYL BROWNE /BARRIE EXAMINER
Noah Stock knows his best friend has his back.
Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes shortly after he was born, the 10-year-old Barrie boy now has a buddy who can sniff out low blood-sugar problems before they become dangerous.
“He'll start sniffing or licking my hand. And when he puts more and more pressure on me, I know he's not just looking for affection,” Stock said Monday, after celebrating one year with his new canine pal. “He's never wrong.”
Stock and Riley were the guests of honour at Canvas and Cabernet, 72 Dunlop St. E., where the May Court Club made a cheque presentation to Sweet Charity to support its work with the diabetes alert dog program.
The cost of training an alert dog runs to approximately $16,000, and families are expected to raise $5,000 to help cover costs.
Children with diabetes often can't tell when their blood-sugar levels are dropping, so Riley and other dogs are trained to sniff the breath and warn children of their need for insulin.
Noah's mother, Lianne, said Riley gives her and Noah a sense of independence.
“I have just passed the ninth anniversary of setting my alarm every three hours during the night to check Noah,” Lianne said. “His trust in Riley has just snowballed to the rest of us. Because of Riley, I am not as stressed, because Riley picks up signs of falling blood sugar before we would; before Noah shows any signs that would alert us.”
Sweet Charity is a registered charitable organization created to provide health-care support services to people with a medical disability by training dogs to assist with their care.
“The May Court Club of Barrie is pleased to support Sweet Charity,” said Lise Valiquette, convener of the club.
“Parents should not have to take turns sleeping in order to protect their child from having sudden drops in blood-sugar levels which can lead to severe complications.”